April records show continued state job growth

The Employment Security Department announced yesterday that Washington employers added 5,200 non-farm jobs in April, marking consistent growth for the...

The Employment Security Department announced yesterday that Washington employers added 5,200 non-farm jobs in April, marking consistent growth for the 33rd straight month.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched up one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.7 percent in April.

The unemployment rate measures how many people in the state do not have jobs and are actively seeking work. The percentage increased at the same time that jobs were added because more people decided to look for work.

“The economic expansion in this state is nearing historic proportions,” said Employment Security Commissioner Karen Lee. “Unemployment is hovering near all-time lows and we’ve had another month of widespread job growth. Construction is especially booming this year.”

Annual non-farm job growth in the state was 3.4 percent, with 94,700 net new jobs created from April 2005 to April 2006. The construction industry led that growth with an increase of 11.4 percent, adding 1,100 jobs over the month and 20,000 over the year.

Manufacturing and technology also expanded significantly, according to Employment Security economists. Aerospace manufacturing was up 400 jobs in April, with an annual increase of 6,700. Machinery manufacturing added 100 jobs in April and 1,000 over the year. Software publishing and computer systems design added 400 and 500 jobs, respectively, in April, and each added 2,000 over the year.

By contrast, logging, motor-vehicle and parts dealers, air transportation and wired telecommunications all reported job losses over the past year.

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